Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mike's testimony to the legislators

Testimony of Michael XXXX in Support of SB59

My name is Michael XXXX and I would first like to echo Terri’s gratitude for the opportunity to speak today. My wife has been yoked with the full burden of this issue as evidenced by her testimony.

Rather than be redundant, I would like to add my perspective as the primary breadwinner and head of household. My son Matthew was a planned blessing. While he slumbered in the womb I read expectant mother books, painted his room, sewed him a quilt, and built his crib from scratch. I once commented to a stranger that I was nesting more than Terri was.

Anticipation gave way to concern when Matthew was born 2 months premature. The next six months our life was like the movie “Groundhog Day” where the main character is forced to relive the same day over and over. Terri & I would wake up each morning, get dressed, and drive to the hospital to sit by Matthew’s bedside.

I can tell you that our concern over all of his medical problems was enough to occupy our thoughts. I never imagined that we would also be faced with financial ruin.

Like most health insurance plans, ours carries a lifetime cap per person. Until this ordeal, I had never heard of a lifetime cap. I thought once you had insurance, you were safe. Never one to seek a hand out, We first looked into purchasing insurance under HIPPA protection. But no one wanted to cover Matthew since they knew they would lose money. So it was at this point that we turned to the state for help.

We were told that we would not qualify for assistance because I earned more than the federal poverty level. I have never complained about my salary but I could make 20 times what I do now and still not afford Matthew’s initial medical bills.

After exhausting all other options, Terri and I went before the board of trustees for our healthcare and begged them to raise the insurance cap for their members. While not my proudest moment, it saved us from the insulting options that we would have been left with.

As the spiritual leader and provider for your household, how many of you would divorce and purposely make yourself appear to be a “dead beat Dad”? How many of you would sign away custody of your child, thereby acknowledging your inability to provide for your family?

How many of you would uproot your spouse from her family and lose your pension to move to another state with a safety net? Are you aware that government officials and knowledgeable consultants advise your constituents to do these very things?

I pose to you, are these options you would choose if faced with this dilemma? Ask yourself, “Is this the example I would set for my children; divorcing my spouse or filling out adoption papers?” Would you want to explain to your son or daughter, that giving them up was just on paper? Would you spend time discussing or reiterating that mommy and daddy really do love each other, they just have to pretend so they can provide?

As it stands now there is no help in XXXX for the middle class. If you look on your pay stub you will see automatic deductions for Medicaid. In effect, we are paying into a system that we cannot benefit from. This type of income redistribution is the very definition of socialism.

I am asking you to support SB59. Though it wouldn’t help our family, there are others that would be spared the threat of financial ruin. Premiums could be set on a sliding scale based on household income.

I know you are loath to compete with private insurance companies for fear of adversely affecting their business. I can assure you they are not seeking folks like us as customers.

The testimony that we have given today is from our recent, firsthand experiences and I thank you for listening.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful! Best of luck.

Grandma Sue said...

Well my Son, I can only add to what I said to Terri. The way you handle yourself when speaking before an audience always makes quite an impression, but there was an added touch this time. You were the Father of a precious Son who has faced many obstacles in his long fight. You have been with him every step of the way and he adores you. He will grow to emulate you and be the man his Daddy is, because who wouldn't want to be like you. I hope what you and Terri have done today will help so many families in need who aren't asking for a handout, but just a hand in making the laws fair for all. The health care in the United States is not the problem, it is the health insurance system that is broken.

I am so proud of you for boy you were and the man you have become. To watch my son grow to be a very proud father and loving husband is all a mother could ask for.

I love you. Mom

Denise said...

awwwwwwwwwww jeez, thanks for the cry i was attempting to avoid sue!! but i am not at all surprised at your words of love and pride for the fabulous son you raised!!! Mike, your example is one all young men should emulate. I thank God that you came into Terri's life and brought her the joy and love she always deserved! you are an EXCEPTIONAL man!! not enough of your type around!!!

i hope your words touched their cold hearts!!

Grandma W said...

After hearing Michael deliver "his words", I can only say "ditto" to my previous comments about Terri.

I have always been so very proud of Michael; but never so much as hearing his tender and emotional appeal for a "just" and "fair" Medicare system for the medically fragile. He did not "put down" any other class of citizens; but asked to be "raised up" to their level for equality purposes. How can you argue with his logic. The questions now is "WHO" will argue against his words?????? How brazen of a Nevada citizen to ask for "Justice for All". Those words have a very familiar ring to them. Hummmmm Now lets judge if those American Words can be voted into law here in Nevada.

The ball is in your court, Nevada Legislature. Are you strong enough to be counted as the 35 State to join the ranks of attempting to fix a broken system? Time will tell.

Mike and Terri are not professional speech writers; but what they had to say was excellent, outstanding and commendable. Love you two. mom aka grandma wright

Liam's Mom - Gina said...

I am about in tears, Michael. Well done. I hope this testimony touched their hearts and minds as it did mine. You are right, so many families will benefit if that bill is passed. My thoughts and prayers are with each of you.

Richie said...

As one who has heard a lot of people talk from prepared speeches and from the top of their heads, I applaud Mike for a job well done. I am very proud of my two younger friends for doing this for all of us and for resisting the way of the world and not taking the easy way out. You make me proud to know you both. God Bless you and yours.